As women wield increasing economic & social power online, what does this mean for e-commerce?
In her latest editorial Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa (@AyeshaMathews | Facebook), founder and Creative Director of PixInk explains how women are wielding more economic power online, a fact that e-commerce sites ignore at their peril.
In the beginning, OS Adam ran the marketing show. Brands clamored for his business, which he doled out byte by byte with seemingly unparalleled buying power, his purchasing decisions absolute.
Whether mattress or makeup, brands were required to maintain compatibility with OS Adam. In the 1920s, brands pounced on single women’s fears of becoming old maids. Claims that products enhanced the likelihood of “integrating” with OS Adam went viral. The model was outdated even then but OS Adam was the perceived economic power-horse.
Enter OS Eve
Enter OS Eve, women consumers have morphed into a powerful economic operating system. While companies continued to churn out brands and campaigns aimed at OS Adam, OS Eve quietly accumulated financial gravitas.
Today women consumers drive 83% of purchase decisions, which accounts for $12 trillion in global spending, $5 trillion in the United States. With over half of U.S. GDP under her sway, OS Eve, aka women consumers, has become an unstoppable economic machine with its own distinctive operating system.
When OS Adam and OS Eve run in tandem they offer advanced brand performance. Unfortunately many brands are reluctant to migrate to the new operating system. Others still reliant on outdated gender-specific marketing stereotypes, spark brand short-circuits with women consumers. Such marketing missteps are unnecessary as technology offers brands more channels and platforms to connect with OS Eve wherever she operates. Reinforcing those connections with meaningful dialogue can convert conversations into sales and loyalty.
OS Eve is equipped with a generous utility package: PCs, virtual wallets, smartphones, tablets, etc. In fact, more women would ditch their TVs (58%) than their laptops (11%) if faced with the choice, which makes sense given the 22% of women consumers who shop online every day.
Facebook and other social media sites are virtual OS Eve operating environments where women outnumber their male counterparts. Fortunate brands will get the viral treatment from the 92% of women consumers who share brand evangelism with their circles.
OS Eve Software Guide
OS Adam and OS Eve share 99% of the same neural circuitry. “But that one percentage difference influences every single cell in our bodies—from the nerves that register pleasure and pain to the neurons that transmit perception, thoughts, feelings and emotion.” That 1% contains a cacophony of influences, which dictate what, when, where and why women consumers buy, making decoding OS Eve the primary marketing challenge in the years ahead.
Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa is Founder and Creative Director of PixInk, a San Francisco-based design microagency serving a macro niche: businesses marketing to women, who drive 83% of purchase decisions. She nurtures emerging brands and strengthens iconic ones through powerful design, insight and a deep understanding of the female shopper. PixInk’s microagency structure works extremely well for iconic yet nimble brands such as Apple, Facebook, Oracle, Cat Footwear, Riverbed, Camel, Sephora and Picaboo, among others.